A new spring of observation

A new spring but not just any spring! Exactly 20 years ago, a pair of Peregrine falcons settled in the center of Brussels, at the top of the north tower of the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudule.

In 2004, it was exactly 10 years since the Peregrines returned to nest in Belgium after the disappearance caused by DDT, a persistent chemical pollutant used as a pesticide in agriculture. The couple from the cathedral were the very first to settle in town in Belgium. Since the return in 1994, most of them nested on industrial sites first and then re-established on the deserted Meuse cliffs at the end of the 1960s.

Twenty years later, there are a dozen couples of Peregrines in Brussels. Surveys are still being carried out, perhaps a new Peregrine family will be discovered this spring!

But let us come now to this new season of discoveries in live streaming 24/7! We will observe together the three most famous couples in Brussels. Here is their status question:

At the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudule, in the heart of Brussels, the couple who arrived in 2019 are still there. But they continue to distinguish themselves! The female laid eggs almost 3 weeks late compared to 2023. However, the winter of 2024 was the second warmest ever recorded in Belgium. Go find out… Plus, like last year, she only laid one egg. A new camera was installed to provide another angle of observation of the nest. Surprising! The cathedral's cameras will be connected early next week. So you just have to wait a little more…

In the tower of the Saint Job Church in Uccle, the Peregrine falcon couple incubates 2 eggs. The female laid a third egg but it was quickly broken. Male and female take turns on the two “survivor eggs” whose hatching is expected in the middle of next week. These will probably be the first falcons of the 2024 generation to hatch in Brussels. A new camera was also installed in Uccle. It allows you to film the entrance to the nest and therefore observe the falcons when, from the age of 4 weeks, they spend most of their time observing the green area.

At the top of the belfry of the historic building of the University of Brussels (ULB), at Solbosh, the Peregrine couple has been incubating 4 eggs since March 21. From up there, the falcons have a breathtaking view of the Bois de la Cambre (forest) and beyond, the Sonian Forest. Considering an incubation period of 32 days, hatching is expected around April 21.

Here is the scene set, the start for a new spring of observing the fastest bird in the world!